Keeping your Kitty Clean: Tips on Bathing Your Cat

Bathing A Cat Challenge

Bathing your cat or kitten can be a challenge. Whiskers twitching, eyes darting, and a swift exit stage left at the first hint of water can become part of the bathing process. 

And if you have more than one cat, your cat’s bath can be even more challenging. But believe it or not, bathing your feline friend doesn’t have to be a claw-filled fiasco.

Understanding the Need to Bathe Your Cat

While most cats exhibit an impeccable self-grooming regimen, there are chapters in your feline friend’s life where a dip in the tub becomes necessary. Be it a romp through a muddy garden or a therapeutic need due to skin conditions, your fur baby may need a bath.

Knowing how often to wash your cat and learning how to wash your cat intertwines with understanding their lifestyle, coat type, and any vet-recommended advice, ensuring their fur remains both sleek and healthy.

How Often Should You Bathe Your Cat?

How often to wash your cat and the frequency of baths often depends on the rhythm of your cat’s lifestyle, health and adventures. You will often find that cat hair is sleek, fluffy and clean. And while an indoor kitty might not often need a bath, an adventurous explorer or a cat with specific health needs might find themselves amidst the bubbles more often. 

It’s important to remember that bathing your cat regularly can disrupt their natural oils, so you must tailor bath-time tales to their unique needs to ensure their coat remains a lustrous cloak of comfort and their skin is kept healthy. And if you need to bathe your cat, remember to only use cat-friendly shampoo from a pet store or as your vet recommends. Never use human shampoo when you wash your cat as some chemicals could be toxic for their delicate skin.

Preparing for a Cat Bath

wet cat in the bath

The key to a successful cat bath lies in preparation. From ensuring a non-slip floor mat for secure paw placement to selecting a gentle, unscented cat shampoo from your local pet store, your armoury of bathing supplies should be both feline-friendly and within paw’s reach. Anticipating your cat’s needs, preparing a warm, serene environment, and a post-bath treat will ensure keep your cat calm. You may even be able to transform their bath-time adventures into an event they look for

The Right Technique: How to Bathe a Cat

Embarking on the adventure of bathing cats invites a ballet of gentle motions, reassuring murmurs, and perhaps, an unexpected splash or two. 

  1. Ensure their bath is filled with lukewarm water–it should not be too hot or too cold.
  2. Begin with a calm and gentle introduction, allowing your cat to explore the water.
  3. Let them acclimatise to the sensation, ensuring they feel at ease.
  4. Delicately lather up, reaching into your cat’s coat.
  5. Ensure no soap suds approach their eyes or ears.

Dealing with Cat Bathing Challenges

Every cat bathing chapter hosts tales of playful protests, acrobatic leaps, and perhaps, a surprise appearance of those secret ninja skills. 

To ensure your cat’s safety, keep the bathing environment calm. Keep the door closed, and consider using a small sink or bucket instead of an actual bath. Providing your cat with a secure embrace may also help to calm your cat, and avoid any scratches from your cat’s claws.

Drying Your Cat After Washing

While some kitties may revel in the warmth of a hairdryer or enjoy a rub down with a soft towel, others might prefer a serene sunlit spot to air dry.

Ensuring your cat is completely dry, especially in those hidden nooks beneath their legs or behind their ears and around their tiny cat’s nails, is pivotal in preventing chilly drafts from making them cold and will keep your cat clean.

Cat Bathing Safety and Comfort

Offering a non-slip surface for confident paw placements, ensuring the water is at just the right temperature, and providing a comforting embrace can change a potentially stress-laden experience into a gentle, soothing interaction for you and your cat.

While most cats will not require regular bathing, there are those times when it’s required. Whether it’s because they’ve been rolling around in the grass and dirt outdoors, or because of a skin ailment that needs treatment, a cat bath is sometimes necessary. By following the helpful tips in this blog, we hope we’ve been able to provide you with some useful advice the next time you need to bathe your cat or kitten. And for those unexpected surprises and unscheduled vet visits, consider investing in pet insurance for added peace of mind. is issued by The Hollard Insurance Company Pty Ltd ABN 78 090 584 473, AFSL 241436, is arranged and administered by PetSure (Australia) Pty Ltd ABN 95 075 949 923, AFSL 420183 (PetSure) and is promoted and distributed by PetSure’s Authorised Representatives (AR) Pet Insurance Pty Ltd ABN 38 607 160 930, AR 1234944 (PIPL) and Gumtree AU Pty Ltd ABN 33 616 996 840, AR 1304608. Any advice provided is general only and does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. Please consider the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) to ensure this product meets your needs before purchasing. PDS and Target Market Determination available at


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